Alexis T. Schwartz
Sébastien Riffault, son of winemaker Étienne Riffault, started his own label in 2002 with a strong belief in biodiversity, biodynamic principles, and natural winemaking. On his almost five acres of vineyards near Sury-en-Vaux, he grows an array of plants, flowers, and grass among his vines to encourage good insects, and uses horses to plow so his soil is carefully tilled. Without the aid of fertilizers or chemicals, he leaves his grapes on the vine extremely late to ensure they’re completely ripe, then ferments them in large, old barrels with wild yeast. The result is unfiltered, completely natural wine that competes with some of the Loire’s best bottles. To learn more about Sébastien’s unique process, visit the vineyard for one of his informal vendage entre amis (grape-picking with friends), then stick around to taste some of his Sancerre.